What does it mean to grow organic? It all comes down to process and expecting higher standards of growing every step of the way. The seeds cannot be genetically modified, and they have to put safeguards in place so that the farm and soil are protected from prohibited substances or genetically modified seeds. The ground where they are planted needs to be free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for three whole years prior to any harvest. Additionally, the labor methods need to meet high standards. The water irrigation must be done mindfully, such as drip or central pivot systems or even done manually, and the water must come from a clean, reliable source. The water used for the crops also must meet the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act. Organic guidelines and regulations were developed with the goal of sustainable farming. If the soil is cared for and guarded from unnatural outside substances, it will keep yielding higher quality hemp while avoiding soil infertility or a weak plant. After the harvest, the hemp products need to remain free of artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Any other ingredients need to be organic as well. Otherwise, all the work up until now will be pointless because the final result won’t be a pure, natural hemp product. Shockingly, there is one major element of farming that is not covered by organic regulations. A farm is nothing without diligent workers to protect the land and nurture the crops. Organic regulations do not include provisions about worker treatment and compensation. Arete only partners with farms that prioritize their workers, treat them ethically, and pay them fairly for their labor. We also donate a portion of each sale back to charities like Feeding America and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and recently, we were recognized by St Jude Children’s Research Hospital for our ongoing support. There is one more major way that Arete goes above and beyond. All our products are tested through a third-party laboratory. This testing ensures they are free of chemicals or impurities, and it gives greater transparency and accountability to our customers, who expect the best from Arete. Lab test results are available on the lab results page for all Arete products, including CBD oil tinctures, CBD flowers, CBD concentrates, and Delta 8 hemp extracts. Readers, we want to hear from you! Do you always buy organic? Is it for environmental reasons, concerns about pesticides or artificial ingredients, or simply a higher quality product? Leave a comment below!